To sack the cleaner after coming home and crying my eyes out

(144 Posts)
OlderMummy1 Tue 10-Jun-14 22:02:21

I had a cleaner for 6 months when I was pregnant as I had hyperemesis, severe PGP and a 2 year old. She was fantastic! We have a modest 3 bed semi and she used to get it all cleaned and a basket of ironing done in 3 hours. I paid her £10 an hour. She worked for herself and had insurance, references, CRB etc.

3 weeks ago her father became very ill and needed full time care so she had to give up work. Since then I have been looking for someone else as I am struggling to the point of depression with a refluxy newborn. Just surviving the day is an achievement for me let alone doing the housework.

I have found it hard to find anyone. Everyone I found who was self employed had no insurance and no references. To be honest, some came across as quite dodgy. So then I thought I would go through an agency. It is a national one so seemed good. They found someone for me and she came today. I decided to have 3 hours clean and 1 hour iron as I know my last cleaner was superwoman and I didn't want it to be unmanageable. Also, as it was her 1st time here I didn't leave any ironing to be done as it's always slower when you don't know the house and we did have 3 weeks of dirt.

We don't have pets and mainly have laminate floor so it doesn't get too dirty apart from the usual mess with 2 kids. I'm also not a clean freak, as long as it's done reasonably well then I'm happy.

Well! I just walked through the door after a long day at the hospital with the newborn trying to get his medication sorted out and I honestly thought we had been burgled!

The dining room table was crooked with all the seats pushed back, the coffee table was at a 90 degree angle to where it usually is , a highchair is blocking a doorway, 2 kitchen cupboards are wide open, the Hoover is half pushed back in the cleaning cupboard so the door won't shut and she's left a note saying she's broken a vase (wedding gift) and that she didn't have time to do any bedrooms! As I walked around in shock I slipped on a duster she had left in the middle of the floor and fell over with the baby in my arms. I couldn't save myself, only him, so have now got 2 very painful knees.

My husband has just got home and I've cried!

I don't want her to come again but I feel bad about sacking her. She only gets £27 for 4 hours, the agency gets the rest - it doesn't seem enough really. Maybe I am deluded as to how much can be done in 4 hours and our last cleaner was a one off.

Am I?

KirstyJC Tue 10-Jun-14 22:05:09

If you aren't happy with the work done, then don't ask her to come back. She sounds awful!

FuckTheMagicDragon Tue 10-Jun-14 22:06:25

No your last cleaner was good, but normal. Call the agency, tell her you don't want her back and that you want her back, explain how she left your house and that you want your money back!

camtt Tue 10-Jun-14 22:08:43

Surely this is the benefit of going through an agency - you complain to them and they deal with her. You never have to see her again. Take pictures and make sure to tell them she left your home in what was actually a dangerous condition - lucky you didn't break an ankle or injure your baby falling over!

Littlef00t Tue 10-Jun-14 22:08:48

Even if she struggles with the amount to do she should be respectful of your property and clear away after herself. You would expect her to try and make a good impression on her trial so the fact it was terrible suggests it's really not worth pursuing with her.

Might be worth trying another from the agency?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 10-Jun-14 22:09:57

I'd be really annoyed at the way she has left the furniture out of place TBH.
OK she didn't do the bedrooms and she broke a vase (at least she told you) but I'm presuming she knew you had small DC, so to leave the cupboard un-closeable and the tables all moved is dangerous.

I know people will say that everything looks a hundred times worse when you have a new baby that you're back and forth to hospital with, but I'd find out from the Agency exactly what is expected in the time allocated.

crispyporkbelly Tue 10-Jun-14 22:10:03

Where are you? I have a good one. Get recommendations.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 10-Jun-14 22:11:57

You are paying for a service. It wasn't completed to an acceptable standard. Tell them you won't be paying for sub-standard service again. Tell them what the issues were and get them to pay up for the vase.

EverythingCounts Tue 10-Jun-14 22:12:50

She has not covered herself in glory really so I wouldn't feel bad. This is as pp have said the benefits of going through an agency. Ask them for someone else.

HygieneFreak Tue 10-Jun-14 22:13:28

Put an advert in the job centre and interview afew people, explaining exactly what you want doing.

I ve done that twice and had an excellent cleaner both times

HRMumness Tue 10-Jun-14 22:13:42

Complain to the agency, definitely. I would be fuming if I paid for a cleaner and they hadn't actually cleaned the whole house in that time -- I have a 3 bed terrace and could probably clean the whole lot in my DD's 2 hour nap if I pulled my finger out -- let alone leaving things lying around like that so dangerously.

OlderMummy1 Tue 10-Jun-14 22:16:04

Thanks for your replies. I honestly thought it must be me expecting too much in the time allowed.

If anyone has a cleaner how big is your house and how much do you pay if you don't mind me asking?

Lottiedoubtie Tue 10-Jun-14 22:16:21

Definitely sack her, she's been crap. There's no excuse for leaving your house in a dangerous state.

Lottiedoubtie Tue 10-Jun-14 22:18:05

3 bed end of terrace here, 2 1/2 hours a week at £10 an hour (agency gets £2.50 an hour of that). It's plenty of time for a decent job, no ironing thought. Although I'm not in a strong postion as our cleaner is being crap at the moment and I haven't sacked her yet...

whynowblowwind Tue 10-Jun-14 22:18:52

Have to admit I'd struggle to clean a house plus ironing in 3 hours.

HygieneFreak Tue 10-Jun-14 22:19:45

My house is a 3 bed semi, small bathroom, no dining room, small kitchen, downstairs toilet

I have a cleaner for 3 hours a week, no ironing though.

She also does on top of wardrobes etc

I pay £10 per hour and live in lancashire north west

gamerchick Tue 10-Jun-14 22:20:12

There's no way that it was reasonable for her to leave your house like that. Even if she couldn't finish, she should put the stuff away properly and leave the rooms presentable.

Appalling.. ring the agency.

whynowblowwind Tue 10-Jun-14 22:20:44

Just saw you didn't leave any ironing. That's really strange then - you'd think she'd be keen to make a good first impression!

tinkerbellvspredator Tue 10-Jun-14 22:22:46

Most small 3 beds like ours are done in 2 hours (from previous experience of reading these threads!). Our last cleaner was superwoman and did a fantastic job in 2 hours, current one is not as thorough but still does everything to a reasonable standard and leaves the place tidy etc.

Doilooklikeatourist Tue 10-Jun-14 22:22:54

I have a cleaner
I pay her £8 an hour ( that's what she asked for )
She does 3 hours a week , and in that time irons a weeks worth of shirts for DH and Tshirts and skirts for me .
She hoovers , dusts , mops and clean windows .
We have a big house , and she gets the whole of the downstairs clean and beautiful in that time
I pay cash , and don't know if she has insurance , but I trust her and have known her for years

Loletta Tue 10-Jun-14 22:24:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreatSoprendo Tue 10-Jun-14 22:26:09

Definitely get rid straight away. When I was first hiring a cleaner wise MNers advised me that the first time the cleaners come will always be their best, as they are wanting to impress so you take them on. Based on that, your cleaner is going to get even worse!
Can't believe in 4 hours she couldn't get to the bedrooms?! My cleaner does 2 hours a week in our 3 bed semi, and hoovers, mops and dusts whole house pulse cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.

GreatSoprendo Tue 10-Jun-14 22:27:07

The whole house. Not the whole pulse. That would just be weird.

ThingsThatShine Tue 10-Jun-14 22:28:34

I wouldn't carry on with her. Sounds terrible. On to the next one! I would try to get personal recommendations if at all possible.

perrinelli Tue 10-Jun-14 22:29:09

I've not had that much success with agencies in the past - maybe it's because the cleaners are not working for themselves and don't get paid so much per hour? Also perhaps the really good cleaners have no need to work for an agency but get enough work through work of mouth themselves?
You could persevere with the agency and ask them to send someone else next week, they'll hopefully send you one of their more reliable people, but I would keep trying to find another independent one through recommendation.

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